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Own only two center fire hunting guns, 45-70 Sharps repl;ca and Man Sch 30-06, do not need any others and hand load for both. Have 22-250 used for paper puncher as no longer "varmint shoot" as found many are becoming endangered, AKA if you do not eat it, do not shoot/kill it.

But the 45-70 remains my favorite, ballistics kind of mimic a rock, nearly all loads are BP or substitute, in fact other then center fires nearly all my guns are circa 1820-1870 front loaders. Ran across this story a while back, have NOT tried to replicate it as would need bigger "Range" then I have available, but interesting stuff on the old 45-70. Guess if I was to have choice of only one gun, 45-70 would be it, can even become a "410" with shot loads Used to carry 45-70 5 shot pistol in plane in AK with belt load of various bird shot to heavy 500gr in case went down. Only real issue was not a lot of time at range as tended to kill at one end and cripple at other.

Read of 2500 yards shooting, looks like they were looking at long range rifle volley fire using the things as some sort of small artillery. Can only guess the results on troops in close formations etc with 2000 plus yards of concentrations of 45-70 raining down.
The .45-70 at Two Miles

PS guess should say , "Do not try this at home or at range, unless lots of room.
 

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I too love the venerable 45-70. I have killed more deer with this round than any other in my collection. I used a Ruger #3 in 45-70 to take the majority of these. I had to sell that little rifle to pay bills and I really regret it. My 45-70 now is a Marlin Guide gun.
 

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Three years ago I "discovered" the 45-70. After 50+ years of shooting I finally found out there was a perfect rifle round. Since that time I've gotten rid of all my other centerfire rifles and ended up buying five different "buffalo" guns. I don't shoot varmits anymore and most centerfire rifles don't leave enough guess work/skill to the shooter. I've got Sharps, High Walls, and recently an 1886 lever gun. Man, these things are fun to shoot. I actually like the bullet arc, guessing the distance, and the unbelievable accuracy from these things. Most of my guns will do MOA on a good day and the lever gun does almost as good. I loaded up some different rounds to try out last night and I'll be putting them down range either tomorrow or Saturday at my property. Can't wait for deer season! Meanwhile, steel gongs at various "unknown" distances at the range.
 

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Have you auctually shot your Sharps at 2500+ yards Chuck?

I understand how it could become addicting. The varmint hunter in me likes being spoiled with holdovers in inches instead of feet. Still with that being said. I have shot prairie dogs with a 50 caliber front stuffer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hold over at 2500

Seems in article they did just that and hit about 6 feet from target. But this whole experiment seems test for very long range mass fire into formed up troops are areas. Be pretty hard to find a range today to zero in the 2500 yards. But suspect one of these days someone will try it. That 45-70 is, if you are only going to own one gun and hunt, best buy going and by far the most fun, no scopes, perhaps long range rear sites as needed. The hunters gun.
 

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Well I don't know about 2500 yards! Now your talking something only a few "snipers" can master. I have a 45/120, 45/90 and couple of 45/70's but I sure don't even attempt that kind of yardage. It's more like 500 tops and mostly 300 or 400 yards.

If I wanted to attempt shooting 2500 yards, I would pick up the Edge in the vault and put 300 grainers in the magazine. Who knows, I might just get lucky once or twice out of a box of shells.:D:D;)

I know an old man down in Lousyanna that can hit 12" squares (iron sights) all day long with his Sharps at 800 yards. Rick is no rookie at shooting long range, he was once the Texas high power rifle champion.;):cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Have you auctually shot your Sharps at 2500+ yards Chuck?

I understand how it could become addicting. The varmint hunter in me likes being spoiled with holdovers in inches instead of feet. Still with that being said. I have shot prairie dogs with a 50 caliber front stuffer.

Having a short Mauser action 22-250 I find it much less fun then the 45-70, and even the flinter, or exact copy of 50 Hawkins. or other period front feeders.

No am NOT a fan of inlines as they are simple rule beaters for front loader season> Worked on the original lobby to get special season for front feeders and none ever expected, nor would have tolerated the modern, some even smokeless, pill loading, sabots with scopes passed off as "Muzzle loaders". Yes I do have a slight bias against inlines, more so scoped pill loader sabots passed off as muzzle loaders.

That said, now off soap box, the article goes into great detail on the angles and such of the shots at all sorts of ranges. Not exactly sure what is "MOA" at those ranges, but very interesting read. Big fan of the 45-70 and as said carried revolver ver in plane with all sorts of loads in case went down. The only real problem with 45-70 handgun it is very much like very heavy loads in my 44 Ruger revolver, kind of hope it will misfire after a few rounds as does jump around a wee bit.

Yet as old as 45-70 is, it remains a load for the real hunter, no scopes, will down what it hits, and simply more fun to shoot then should be legal. REcoil as with most straight shells not that bad and highly versatile in loads. I mostly shoot BP substitute rather then smokeless. My wife got tired of me coming back fron range smelling like rotten eggs and I got tired of all the efforts needed in very time consuming BP shooting. So at my advanced age, awarded self a break n the pure BP, but do miss (at times) the smoke and smell of the old stuff. Makes hand loads a lot easier.

Rather fun to "hold over" at 300-500 yards and am not great shot at that ranges any more., seems once you pass 60 the targets get smaller/fuzzy and every 25 yards now appears to be around 40 yards. I find the 22-250 nearly boring compared to the Sharps replica when it roars
 

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I think that getting very consistent velocity would be of highest importance at such ranges with any rifle, with 45-70's more so than many others.

But as far as the don't shoot anything you can't eat...

I don't shoot as many animals as I used too. But not shooting prairie dogs...

The prairie dogs in the Badlands of South Dakota have dreadful diseases since the prairie dog lovers succeeded in getting them off limits for shooters. They evidently did not know and still do not what they have caused.

For many years I used to shoot coyotes, raccoon, fox and other animals for their fur. It was one way for a kid to get money on the farm. (Farm kid labor was free.)

I still shoot things like skunks during the middle of the day.

deer and antelope - I shoot for meat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wrong on Paaire Dogs

I think that getting very consistent velocity would be of highest importance at such ranges with any rifle, with 45-70's more so than many others.

But as far as the don't shoot anything you can't eat...

I don't shoot as many animals as I used too. But not shooting prairie dogs...

The prairie dogs in the Badlands of South Dakota have dreadful diseases since the prairie dog lovers succeeded in getting them off limits for shooters. They evidently did not know and still do not what they have caused.

For many years I used to shoot coyotes, raccoon, fox and other animals for their fur. It was one way for a kid to get money on the farm. (Farm kid labor was free.)

I still shoot things like skunks during the middle of the day.

deer and antelope - I shoot for meat.
There was recent show on PBS "nature" on the PD's, Seems the disease they have is being treated and has little to do with "prairie dog lovers". They have been using insecticides to kill the fleas and save the PD's which are base for many of the animal and plant systems of the plains. They are also saving the PD's as numbers way down and they are food for Black Faced Ferrets who were nearly extinct, down to 18 pair in captivity, breeding/release programs brought up to 1000 now. So not a great idea of kill off the PD's or any other animal just for sake of killing something, be it skunks for whatever, they all server a purpose in the overall scheme of things, Noted when in AK they lowly porcupine, is NOT to be killed. Reason is very simple, it does not run away and if in survival situation, can be taken with a club, same in lower 48.

Suggest you to PBS and look up show on the Plains, as it had a lot of good data on animals and issues on the plains. Note I think it is way past time to look at what is shot or trapped and why do it. We are taking the animals habitat and they are not easily replaceable, as we should have learned from the Carrier Pigeon that once numbered into the millions, as well as other species. Real sportsmen do not need to kill to hang on wall or for "fun of it", time to review and look such straight in the eye and ask why kill for now reason. Like you I do shoot animals much anymore, other then a very few for the freezer. Some of my "best days hunting" were not taking the shot, and just watching. I was raised to "never take the shoot if not 150% certain of one shot kill, and never forget, the animals feel pain and suffering just like us, respect them
 

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You mean that fella who shot an Indian chief off his horse over 1/2 mile away? Yeah, I heard of him alright, he is in some of the family writings etc. One of my great great great aunts danced with him once at a social gathering. It stated he smelled like a buffalo even with his new shirt and pants etc. I guess it was like some of those cowboys coming into town after a 3 month cattle drive. It takes more than one bath to clean those type up without smelling like cow paddies.:eek:;) :D:D:D:D
 

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You can tell it's been a long cold winter - we're talking about shooting a 300 yd max gun at 2500 and dancing with cowboys;-)
 

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I used a Ruger #3 in 45-70 to take the majority of these.
I had one of those for a bit. I do believe it was the meanest little rifle I ever shot. Sold it to a friend that collected Rugers. He shot it one time at the range, it's been in a display rack ever since.

I do wish Ruger would do a run in .22 Hornet, .25-35, .30-30, and .38-55 though. I'd buy one of each.
 

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Not to go off track here - and I don't think I am - I looked hard at the 45/70 - GREAT cartridge - and built a .458 Win Mag instead. The .458 covers the 45/70 nicely as the .458 can easily be loaded down and up. Both cartridges are true big bores and of all my rifles, I enjoy my .458 the most. Google CEB LEVER Raptor 250gr. This bullet expands the capabilities of both cartridges. :)
 

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Thanks Bird Dog II and TMan. Needed the chuckle, it's colder than a well diggers bottom, NW Pa. By the way, Adobe Walls is the book. Billy Dixon was a military scout who shot the Indian off horse back. On June 27, 1874 with a 50-2 1/2 Sharps at 1538 yds. The 500 gr bullet took 5.3 seconds to travel that distance. Equipment then rivals that of todays. 2500yds isn't impossible.
 

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Billy Dixon was a military scout who shot the Indian off horse back. On June 27, 1874 with a 50-2 1/2 Sharps at 1538 yds. The 500 gr bullet took 5.3 seconds to travel that distance.
One heck of a shot, or a really unlucky Native American, (or a bit of both). Hard to say, as he didn't shoot another one :)
 

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One heck of a shot, or a really unlucky Native American, (or a bit of both). Hard to say, as he didn't shoot another one :)
May have been one of those I'll quit while I am ahead deals!!! :eek:;)
 
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